Northwest Arkansas Times: May 16, 2008
All for ‘One’: Pop rock supergroup to open AMP season
If this is all a dream, Eddie Fisher would like to hide his alarm clock.
Not too long ago he was a drummer who had been in the same number of bands as residences in the Los Angeles area. He was on the outside looking in in a place where stars and star gazers both reside.
On Tuesday, Fisher was in London after his band, OneRepublic, played a concert in the city the night before, and was still on “don’t-pinch-me” status. The group will open the Arkansas Music Pavilion’s season at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 in Fayetteville before heading to Little Rock to perform at Riverfest on Sept. 24.
Although the band’s frontman, Ryan Tedder, was born in Tulsa and is a 2001 graduate of Oral Roberts University, the concert will mark the first time the band has ever been to the region besides a past show in Tulsa.
“We’ve been on the road for so long, but to come somewhere new and experience a new venue is always exciting for us,” said Fisher, who added that this two biggest influences are “the groove of hip-hop and the jam styles of Brit[ish] rock.”
OneRepublic’s songs have become Top 40 radio regulars, first with “Apologize” and then “Stop and Stare.” Fittingly, both songs can be found on the group’s album “Dreaming Out Loud,” which after being released in November reached platinum status in April. A third song from the album, “Say (All I Need),” was scheduled to hit American radios this past Thursday.
“These songs are our dreams out loud,” the 34-year-old Fisher reaffirmed.
“I’m the one of the old guys in the band, but I look 24,” he added.
When OneRepublic makes its way to the AMP stage, fans might find Tedder in a plastic boot after he injured his left Achilles heel while walking on stage at a recent show in Mount Pleasant, Mich.
“He’s healing nicely,” Fisher said of his bandmate. “He’s playing the waiting game.”
Tedder is too familiar with other waiting games. He got the collective ball rolling back in 2001 when he caught the eye of hip-hop/rap producer Timbaland after winning an MTV talent search show hosted by Lance Bass of’ N Sync. Tedder eventually received a coveted internship of sorts with the well-known producer. Tedder’s drive to be more of an artist and less of a regular producer led him parting ways with Timbaland a year later. In 2003, Tedder, who plays piano and guitar while serving as lead vocalist, moved to Los Angeles with a childhood friend from Colorado Springs, Colo., and guitarist, Zach Filkins, to start a band. They eventually signed with Columbia Records before being dropped for various reasons, one of which was the fashion sense of the group’s original drummer.
After some lineup changes, the band finally decided that Fisher, guitarist Drew Brown and bassist/celloist Drew Kutzle would be the winning combination in 2007. Thanks to the public forum provided by MySpace, the group was able to generate enough of a buzz to become one of the top unsigned bands on the site. That soon changed after Timbaland decided the group led by his former protégé would be the right fit to become the first non-rock group on his Moseley Music Group label, an imprint of Interscope Records. As of Tuesday, the band’s MySpace page had received more than 26 million plays.
The lament-laden “Apologize” did not grow its albatross-like wings until Timbaland released a remixed version of the song on his latest album, “Shock Value.” Last November, the song broke the record for the most spins on the radio in one week with more than 10,000 plays. The record fell recently to a song that Tedder co-wrote and produced, “Bleeding Love” by British pop star Leona Lewis.
The group plans on getting back in the studio at the end of 2009. Until then Fisher and company will enjoy the ride being provided by private jets and shiny tour buses—with the shock and awe of stardom still in effect.
“We never imagined this. We always dreamed, but he never imagined [this success] would be reachable for us,” Fisher said. “I miss by fiancée. With that being said, this is my job. I’m living my dream.”
Apparently, out loud.